travel

The Record: Thursday, Feb. 4, Full Show

Feb 4, 2016
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Today on The Record: Rick Steves, a well-known travel writer based in Edmonds, will tell you how to go to Cuba and what you might find.

Also, is Europe's immigration crisis something you should consider when it comes to visiting there? And move over Gala, Fuji, Braeburn and Red Delicious, there's a new Washington apple coming to your grocery store. Listen to the full show above or check out the individual stories:

Juvenile penguin on Genovesa Island. Click on this image to see more penguin photos.
Patricio Maldonado/Courtesy of iGalapagos.org

Bill Radke speaks with University of Washington researcher Dee Boersma about her website iGalapagos, where she is asking Galapagos Islands tourists to share their photos of penguins to help with her research. 

The Obama administration is implementing changes — voted into law by Congress late last year — that tighten the visa waiver program, specifically targeting Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria. But the administration is reserving the right to make exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

As Iran prepares to pump even more oil into an already glutted market, that oversupply isn't just making gas cheaper for your car — it's also causing jet fuel prices to go down sharply. And that's now pushing airfares down, too.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering a travel warning for countries where Zika virus is circulating. The reason: growing concern among researchers that the virus could be causing babies in Brazil to be born with brain damage.

The Zika virus is named after the Zika forest in Uganda, where it was first identified in the 1940s. For decades it was a rare disease, primarily popping up in Africa and occasionally in Southeast Asia. In 2007, there was a major Zika outbreak in Micronesia. Then in May of 2015 the virus turned up in Brazil.

It won't be long until passengers will be able to take a ferry to Cuba from Miami, an idea that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago in a city that's home to Cuban exiles who fled from the Castro regime. The Obama administration approved licenses last year to companies that want to run ferries to Cuba. Several are interested. Still, it came as a surprise last week when the port of Miami said it's considering building a new ferry terminal on land that had been slated for development.

The Department of Homeland Security Friday extended its deadline for non-compliant states to raise ID card standards. That means a regular driver's license issued by Idaho, Oregon or Washington state will be acceptable identification to board an airplane for at least another two years.

Travel expert Rick Steves speaks at Seattle Central College.
Courtesy of AARP/Bruce Carlson

Rick Steves is known for his guidebooks and radio and television shows, but travel is more than a business to him. He calls it “a political act.”

As an example, Steves tells about the time he changed vacation plans to go to El Salvador on the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero. "No more expensive, no more risky than going down to Mazatlan, but a life-changing experience," he said.

Steves spoke Dec. 10 at the Seattle Central College Broadway Performance Hall as part of AARP’s Life Reimagined Speaker Series. Jennie Cecil Moore recorded the event.

A TSA bomb-sniffing dog.
Courtesy of TSA/Lorie Dankers

More than a million people are expected to pass through Sea-Tac airport this week and next.

More people means more chances for long lines and bottlenecks. But the airport has been working on ways to avoid that. Sea-Tac spokesperson Perry Cooper said the TSA has brought in more helpers to speed up the lines: bomb-sniffing dogs.

Hanford officials and community boosters In southeast Washington are hosting a celebration Thursday at an historic nuclear reactor. A signing ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday made the Manhattan Project National Historical Park official.

Need a fix of bright fall foliage? Kyle Waring can help with that. He’s now in his second year of business collecting and selling autumn leaves.

Waring tells Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti about his business called Ship Foliage and how he preserves the leaves. And for another seasonal fix, if New England has another snowy winter, Waring will continue his second year of Ship Snow, Yo! – packing and shipping that fluffy white stuff.

One Still Missing In Whale Watching Capsize Accident

Oct 26, 2015

More details are emerging from the capsizing of a whale watching boat off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Of the 27 passengers on board, five have been declared dead and searchers are trying to find one who is missing.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Flights to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, from Seattle and other West Coast cities were canceled Friday and Saturday as Hurricane Patricia slammed into Mexico’s central Pacific coast.

Updated at 8:05 p.m. ET

The National Hurricane Center says the eye of Hurricane Patricia has made landfall near Cuixmala on Mexico's southwestern Pacific coast. Its winds were measured at 165 mph, somewhat weakened but still a Category 5 storm capable of catastrophic damage.

Our original post continues:

David von Blohn/AP

The lake is the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir, created when the local Grijalva River was dammed back in 1966. The church ended up submerged under water.

But now it's visible again, as the reservoir's waters have receded. The reservoir's level has dropped by more than 80 feet because of a long drought.

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